I wouldn’t be a blogger if…

by Nathan Hamm on 10/4/2005 · 9 comments

I didn’t bitch every now and then.

What do EurasiaNet, IWPR, and Central Asia Caucasus Analyst all have in common?

Well, two things really, and one is due to the other. Number one is that they don’t have RSS feeds. If they do, they aren’t easy to find. (And in my book, easy to find means that my web browser, Safari, will show an RSS icon to indicate a feed is available. Failing that, a noticeable link or button will suffice.)

Number two follows from number one. I almost never mention them anymore. And that’s a shame because they have good content. Perhaps I’m spoiled, but as of the moment, I am subscribed to 358 feeds. I read 300 of those without fail every day. If I had to ballpark it, 150 of those are specific to Central Asia, the Caucasus, or Eastern Europe (and more than you might guess of the rest are… dare I admit it… ones like this that I need to feed the debilitating addiction I developed in the Peace Corps).

There are some awesome sites that I failed to include above that I wished would publish feeds, and I don’t mean to single anyone out. Heck, if I wanted to be constructive and proactive, I’d send some emails.

And really, I only mention this because there’s this stuffy old bureaucracy that publishes flippin’ podcast feeds!

I really do think that keeping up on these technologies especially as they relate to blogging and other forms of online communication is a big win. Like I said, I don’t mention articles from the above sites all that often because I don’t remember to go look for them. RSS offers a way for that content to more or less be shoved under my nose at my own request. And if it’s there and it’s interesting, I’m very likely to mention it.

And while I’m on the topic, let me take a moment to applaud the best newspaper in the United States [I got the link wrong, you say? P’shaw say I! — ed.]. You’ll now notice that their stories carry a box showing what blogs are discussing what you are reading. I can’t think of a better way to get me to link to their stuff.

And finally, I think the above is in some ways applicable to Central Asian political entities with an online presence. There certainly is something to be said for the argument that Central Asian political organizations should focus on how to reach their own. But, I for one am very interested in hearing and highlighting what activists have to say.

There’s much more that can and should be said about that last part. It’s something I am quite interested in and have talked to a few people about in regards to blogging in particular.

Subscribe to receive updates from Registan

This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

For information on reproducing this article, see our Terms of Use


Narcogen October 4, 2005 at 11:43 pm

Incidentally, you can set up a Google News search that will give you the results as an RSS feed.

Like, say, this one that I use every day:


Nathan October 4, 2005 at 11:45 pm

Yep, I love those. Flickr lets you do the same thing. I’ve found great photos that way.

Younghusband October 5, 2005 at 6:26 am

Hear hear!

Maybe we should start a letter-writing campaign advocating RSS to the orgs. I would definitely contribute.

(PS. I didn’t know you too were a Mac user… HUZZAH!)

Katy October 5, 2005 at 8:05 am

Do these groups even have the time to set up RSS?

Maybe someone should volunteer.

IWPR! I’m in London! I need an internship! I will help you!

Nathan October 5, 2005 at 9:43 am

I was under the impression that it’s not terribly hard, Katy. But, as I don’t know how to do it from scratch, I’m not entirely sure. As for time, I asked HRW if they had/would set up a feed for their Afghan election blog and they got it done quite quickly.

And yes, YH, I’m a new convert. I’d be using both though if my desktop hadn’t died. I am loving my PowerBook (especially how much snazzier it looks than all the craptacular Dell notebooks on campus.)

Tom October 5, 2005 at 4:30 pm

I’ve asked EurasiaNet before, and they’ve responded “yes we’re interested in providing those, expect them in the future.” Clearly we’re not thinking in the same timeframe, since that was many months ago. Big ups to the mac users.

Nathan October 5, 2005 at 4:34 pm

Tom, that makes me feel much better about never having asked them myself.

Younghusband October 6, 2005 at 5:01 am
Mike October 10, 2005 at 11:47 pm

I sent IWPR’s web designer an email in August asking about RSS for similar reasons (I rarely remember to read the site or the emails I get from them). The answer was, yes, RSS would be added as part of a website overhaul by the end of September… If you want to drop them a line: http://www.iwpr.net/index.pl?top_contact_us.html
(Mac at home, PC at work.)

Previous post:

Next post: